Saturday, June 9, after Heritage Fest wraps up, inner-city youth from Boys & Girls Clubs of America, in town for  the 21st annual Wild West Fest, head on over to the Sheridan Opera House for a back-to-back sneak-peak screening of the independent film “The Last Ride: A Story of Hank Williams.”

“The Last Ride” is rated PG-13 and screens at 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission. Before the film debuts later this summer, it is touring historic theaters throughout the United States. Proceeds benefit the Sheridan Arts Foundation, the 501(c)3 non-profit that owns and operates the historic Sheridan Opera House.

“The Last Ride” documents the story of Hank Williams, the pioneer of country music, at the end of his short life. Williams pioneered and pretty much invented what we know today as country music today.

At the peak of his career, Williams was acknowledged as the greatest singer-songwriter in American history –  and he was only in his 20s. After a meteoric rise to record and radio super-stardom in the late 1940s, he had made a train wreck of his life: drugs, alcohol and a hair-trigger temper ended two marriages, ruined a host of friendships, and made the tortured genius a virtual untouchable in the music business.

At the end of 1952 Williams gathered what was left of his physical strength to make things right and began what he hoped would be a long march back to the top. He booked New Year’s shows in West Virginia and Ohio and hired a local kid who didn’t even own a radio, much less know who this legend was, to drive him to the gigs from Montgomery, Alabama.

But Williams never made it to those gigs.

Somewhere on that last highway, the music legend passed away on New Years Day, 1953, in the back of his powder blue Cadillac, carrying only his guitar and a notebook full of unfinished songs. He was 29.

“The Last Ride” is inspired by those mysterious final days and takes the viewers inside the heart of a man who knows he’s dying and a dreamless boy whose fate seems already determined.  The film stars Henry Thomas, Jesse James, Kaley Cuoco, (of “The Big Bang Theory”), Fred Dalton Thompson, Stephen Tobalosky and Ray McKinnon.

Tickets are available online at sheridanoperahouse.com or at the door.

For more information visit sheridanoperahouse.com or call 728-6363 ext. 3.


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